Freddofilms’s review published on Letterboxd:
I went into this film with excessively, extremely high expectations. I had been hyped to see this for a while. Glad to say it met them.
Considering it's huge budget, and I guess being a 'mainstream' film in a way, it's actually very oddball and unique. I guess a lot of this is due to the films tone.
Despite me liking black comedy and stuff, the tone felt a bit wild to me. Just a little too much in either direction - one moment the protagonists were cracking smart dialogue, and one line quips, the next moment there was a black man being torn apart by dogs just off camera. I wasn't expecting the strong tonal differences, I knew of them but not that they were quite like this. Therefore it seemed just a little weird at times. What added to this was the performance of Christolph Waltz, it was great, but to me just seemed a little forced? I don't know, I mean I'm fine with it to be honest.
Okay now onto the good stuff:
1. The story and screenplay (including dialogue)
2. The acting
3. The score - HOLY SHIT THIS WAS AWESOME I CAN'T STOP LISTENING TO IT
4. The bloody violence (and how violence was used in different ways in the film)
5. The cinematography
6. The cameos of Quentin himself and Franco Nero
7. That shootout with the rap song.
Most of what I listed is quite self-explanatory, especially if you've seen the film, so I will just quickly explain one of my points: the violence.
Violence in cinema is always a bit of sensitive topic (what's too far?) and so of course Quentin Tarantino has always been on the spotlight. Many called this film out, especially with its depiction of slavery. Okay so the depiction of slavery (and the use of the n word) is good in this film. Its brutal and shocking. What it should be. Tarantino never revels in slavery.
If you notice with the blood, whenever racist slave owners die bright red blood explodes out of them, spattering the room. Many don't die in one shot, and are left screaming on the floor. Therefore, their deaths are humiliating. It's silly. You laugh at these evil people as they die or as they scream in agony. However, the violence against the slaves on the whole, is handled differently, for a different effect. I'm talking about two main scenes:the mandingo fight and the dog scene. Both of the deaths are just off screen, and are virtually bloodless. They are filmed and carried out this way to present the true horrors that slaves faced. Its incredibly horrific, even if it is not explicitly shown on screen.
Long story short, Tarantino and this film are not racist, and he handles the subject matter very well. You don't always want to see civil rights films on slavery be extremely depressing. The backdrop of the slave trade is great for the story and tension created in scenes.
And in relation to the ending which people don't like (with the added segment after the Candyland shootout). I think it's kind of necessary, and it's not bad at all, the only reason it stands out is because of how good the Candyland shootout scene was. It couldn't be easily topped.
So yeah, just a few minor issues with this film. Overall, extremely well made and very entertaining.